Now available free to all, is an online screening and assessment tool for eating disorders just released by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This valuable tool will help clinicians enhance care for patients with, or suspected to have an eating disorder, especially youth and young adults, among whom, the disease is rising. The tool provides support and information that spans screening, assessing, diagnosing, and treatment planning of patients with eating disorders. It was informed using the APA’s updated practice guidelines, released in March.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), writes that “Eating disorders are serious and sometimes fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and, less common but very serious, anorexia nervosa.”
Saul Levin, MD, MPA, APA CEO and medical director, said, “People with eating disorders have a high rate of mortality and [the disorder is] growing in prevalence among young adults and adolescents. It is vital that we equip our clinicians, especially primary care clinicians, with the latest evidence from the APA to empower their decision-making and improve care for their patients.”
The APA stated that, “Early diagnosis and treatment are associated with a higher rate of recovery, and extended illness is associated with potentially devastating consequences.’
The tool can be found in the electronic health record, on the APA website, and on the AvoMD mobile app.